Friday, October 24, 2014

When is a Birthday Button Not a Button

13th birthday cast member name tag ribbon
When is a birthday button not a birthday button?  When it is was a ribbon cast members would stick to their name tag.  In 1984, Walt Disney World broke from tradition and instead of giving cast members a pin back button to wear on October 1 for their birthday, they gave them this leather-like, 2" x 4" ribbon.  The significance of this unique design?  Well, as we have seen with buttons beginning in the 80's, the design represents a milestone or new attraction that opened that year.  In this case, the Morocco Pavilion which had just opened a month prior, September 7, 1984.  This was the first expansion of World Showcase since Epcot's opening in 1981.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Birthday Buttons - Early 80's Style

9th birthday cast member button
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 1980

The early 1980's saw a departure from the traditional Cinderella Castle birthday button design.  These hard plastic pin back buttons were given to cast members on October 1 each year to celebrate Walt Disney World's birthday.  For the 9th birthday, and for several years that followed, the button took a variety of shapes and highlighted a significant addition to the parks.  In 1980, that addition was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom.  Disneyland saw the premiere of the mine train roller coaster one year earlier in California.  This button was also the largest birthday button to date at 2 1/2" x 2 1/4".

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Continuing the Celebration

7th birthday cast member button
Let's continue celebrating Walt Disney World's birthday all month with various birthday buttons from the early years.  This hard plastic pin back button design of Cinderella Castle was used for WDW's 5th - 8th birthdays (1976-1979).  Each year the color was different but the design remained the same.  This 7th birthday button from 1978 measures 1 1/2" x 2".